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The Doom3 Diary: A Gamer's Experience
Author: Michael Ahlf 
Date: August 11th 2004
Page: 3

Day Three:

Moving right along, Imps are a constant menace - popping up out of the metalwork, arriving from the shadows, generally making nuisances of themselves. They're faster than they used to be - heck, everything's faster than it used to be. In the old Doom games it was possible to run circles around Imps' projectiles, now it's just a challenge to dodge them, and even a glancing blow hurts. 

I'm extremely thankful when I come across the first major sign of civilization - the powerup dispenser. This one dispenses health, in 10-point increments, and before I got to it was worth 50 points. I emptied it immediately.

It doesn't help prepare me for what I'm seeing next - lots, and lots, and lots of blood and gore. The dismembered body of the disgruntled mechanic from earlier is pretty gross. And then there's the worker hung from wiring in the cieling. Not knowing what I was shooting, but seeing something move and hearing a moaning noise, I did actually shoot him.

Workers who tried to barricade themselves into a hallway didn't fare much better, as their mortal remains scattered amongst the crates will attest. Imps break through walls to get to me in here... not much room to breathe, much less dodge, and the shotgun's low reload rate makes it hard to escape without injury. 

The experience brings up another big difference between this game and the old ones; space to maneuver. Everywhere I've been so far, dodging room has been at a premium, as it's all narrow corridors. By contrast, in the originals, wide-open spaces and room to dodge were the norm; it wasn't problematic to circle-strafe around even a couple dozen enemies, slowly taking them down with a hand pistol or double barreled shotgun.

In the security checkpoint I opened up the second storage locker, thanks to another handy tip from reading picked-up PDA material. The result was a very useful device - the machine gun. Well, maybe not THAT useful. It does a good job of pumping ammo into enemies, but chews through the ammo at an alarming rate as well. Once again, baptism by fire was the MO for teaching its use as well; picking it up was the excuse a pair of Imps needed to slip in and attack me from behind.

A ride up the elevator later and I'm back in Mars City, where it all began. Of course, it's all changed: instead of a friendly guide robot to bring me back to the HQ, there's a zombie trying to blast me to pieces and feast upon my corpse.

The easy way into the base is blocked off, too. Thankfully I've got a way around that; a lone survivor who was working in the vents and overlooked by the enemy. He lets me up into the ductwork. I let him live, against my better judgement; it may have been nicer to shoot him, and not have to worry about his being resurrected as a zombie later.

Next stop, the manifest office - amid the wreckage and carnage, I find the PDA of the head manifest officer. Seems he was pretty PO'ed that half the stuff coming in was slipping in under his nose. On the upside, somewhere around here there's a whole shipment of chainsaws. He thought those things were useless on Mars.

Me, I've got plenty of uses for a load of chainsaws and a few canisters of gas to power them.

One of these guys is a pretty good indication of what's been going on here while I've been making my way back - his face has been ripped off. Seems pretty painful, and not something I'm eager to try out. The good news is, he won't be coming back as a zombie. I hope.

PDA, PDA, PDA. Lots of things to go over. Wish I had those chainsaws.

No getting through one obvious door yet, I need security clearance - though if I don't find it soon, there's a good chance that whatever's pounding on the door from the other side might break it down to come after me.

An Imp jumping against the glass in the nearby science lab nearly gives me a heart attack. Too bad for the guy he was chewing on before he spotted me. Luckily for me, the security keycard I need is on this side of the glass, and I can escape feeling relatively protected.

Moving on I get into what seems to be another dead-end, but not before dealing with a few more grunts. Freakishly fast they are, too, and well versed in squad tactics, even suicide tactics. One of them came through the door, eating a full shotgun blast; while I was reloading, the second rolled through the still-open door and tried to shoot me from behind. If this is what the menial stuff is capable of, I'm starting to get very scared of what the more advanced creatures will do.

If I can get to some controller area, there's a chance I might be able to use these sentry-bots to my advantage as allies. This one's taken down two grunts with no damage to itself, then run off down the corridor.  If nothing else, that's a couple clips of ammo should I find a way through the glass.

It's too bad I can't link up with those sentry 'bots, they might be helpful. My route takes me on a parallel course, down side corridors. In one spot, there's a rather nasty bloodstain on the glass, a sure sign that some of the people around here aren't intact enough to be zombified.

The zombies don't seem to feel pain, of course. They can see in the dark, they're hard to hit, and when they want to be, they're pretty quiet. The only thing keeping me alive at this point is that I've got better weaponry than they do. Even that may not help for long - that guy shooting at me from around a corner could very well be an ambush. Get in close enough to use the shotgun, and his buddies pop out to claw me to death.

Fire? I'd kill for a good flamethrower. I think. It might not do me much good, as this flaming zombie proves; light 'em up, and they just keep coming. By the time a flamethrower worked its magic, unless I've got plenty of maneuvering room, it'd be too late. The fat guy with the wrench also speaks volumes about the capabilities of whatever's doing this; living, he could never have moved as fast as he is to come after me.

No luck finding the Marine HQ yet, but I have found the infirmary. There'll definitely be some health-ups and perhaps ammo in there. Of course, they're also going to have a morgue. That's going to be painful.

The arm on the table is proof enough that my hunches are right - the infirmary definitely isn't a point of refuge for more survivors. No, it's more like someone's death scene.

On the head medical officer's PDA I find emails and an audio log about patients who were developing personality disorders and attacking people. One of them got hold of a scalpel and carved wierd runes on his body. He also split his own tongue. So even before the base was under attack, it was under attack. That's backed up by everything I saw previously, even the deranged scientist trying to send out his warning message.

The guys in the next room don't want me to leave as I am. The body on the autopsy table gets right up and shambles at me... that's okay, I can deal with him. The two grunts are a bit nastier, of course. One backs the other up; had I still been using the shotgun and not the minigun, I'd have taken a good deal of fire from number two while reloading after killing number one.

What's in the lockers at the other end, of course, shows the nastiness I'm up against. I doubt the stuff I just fought put these corpse pieces in here. More likely it was done either before everything went nuts, or while everything was slowly going nuts. What I'd give for some backup right about now...

I crawl past this flaming cracked pipe, seeing some med supplies past them. I think I'm in luck - past the dead Marine, there's a functioning door. Crap, it's jammed. I got his PDA though... he was one of the higher-ups. Keycode to the Marine supply locker in HQ, if I ever get there.

Back the other way, I turn a corner just in time to see a zombie break a poor Marine's neck. Did he come out to help me, after hearing my gunshots? Or was he just unlucky? I guess I'll never know. Pull the shotgun out, this one doesn't have a gun... oh crap I forgot to reload the shotgun. Backpedal, backpedal... ahh, the sweet sight of a zombie disintegrating. 

A bit further down the corridor, there's plenty more carnage. This zombie, or else his buddies, were obviously busy. Something's bleeping about wanting a video linkup. Why not, it can't hurt. Though I should put a few shotgun blasts through the corpses first, just in case they're planning to get up while my back is turned.

Crud, someone was in the weapons locker. Amid the corpses, there's plenty of ammo, but none of the bigger guns I was hoping for. At least there's enough to top off my existing stock.

There's my jammed door, around the corner. Bill's body, lying peaceful in death. It's almost a shame to leave him lying there, especially as he could be turned back into a zombie, but there's no way to finish him now.

The videolink means I've reached my intermediate objective, the Marine Communications area. The video is another survivor, my CO - somehow, he's still alive. I suppose I shouldn't be all that surprised, as he's obviously one to follow the "tough old bastard" mode of command. Looks like he's still got his armor and probably a few bigger guns than I've got.

He's telling me to get a move on, with new objectives. If I can link up with some other Marines, that'll be a good thing. A little friendly squad tactics to counter the tactics of the zombies would be entirely welcome.

Got Comments? Send 'em to Michael (at)!
Alternatively, post 'em right here for everyone to see!

The Doom 3 Diary

Added:  Monday, August 09, 2004
Reviewer:  Michael Ahlf

Page: 3/5

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